Cerulean Studios has just launched a new site showcasing Trillian Astra, the next version of their multi-protocol IM client.

Astra includes a whole bunch of new features, and a complete UI overhaul. At the same time, Cerulean claims that performance and resource usage has been greatly improved. In fact, performance was one of the main reasons why I stopped using v3.1 - the splash screen that came up everytime Windows started, and stuck around until the client slowly loaded in the background always drove me up the wall. It's good to hear that a lot of work has gone into this area.

The new default UI is pretty interesting, although I'm not sure how usable things like the "Tile view" for the contact list are going to be. I think I'd need to see it in action when a public build is released before I can comment any more on the new layout and design.

It does look like something I definitely want to try out though. It's been a while since Cerulean has released an update, and this looks like a big one. :)